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Here is a recap of this week’s PPCChat session, hosted by @ThatSearchGuyNL who drew experts attention towards favorite Google Ads scripts, Failure and success while using scripts, How to discover new scripts and more

 

Q1: Are you using Google Ads/Bing scripts in your accounts? Why or why not?

 

I know that I am not using scripts as often or as well as I could be… Can’t wait to get some ideas and the courage to try them today! @NeptuneMoon

We use scripts sparingly, but we’ve begun to use tools like @Optmyzr and @shape in place of scripts because it’s easier to pay their developers to fix things than us to troubleshoot and manage the scripts. @PPCKirk

I’m using scripts to scale my (remote) agency and its performance without scaling headcount. I could simply not run my business without them. @ThatSearchGuyNL

Those who don’t code, pay those who do. @PPCKirk

100% I am. I once worked at an organization where they though giving me all 62 accounts was a good idea so using scripting to help me pinpoint problem accounts, help with bid adjustments etc was crucial for my sanity. @adwordsgirl

yes, because I have to, as a (nearly) one woman show. I use them for reporting and data pulls, and occasional bid adjustments. The biggest hurdle is troubleshooting. I’m not a coder, so if I do something and it doesn’t work, that’s the end of the line for me. @JuliaVyse

I am using a few small scripts but need to get way better at them. Been looking forward to this chat for a while! @Mel66

Not as often as I want! Excited to learn about best use cases during this chat though. @DarthSamK

Using both Google and Bing Scripts. Helps us do more with less people on the team then bigger agencies. @duanebrown

I need to be using more of these, but I don’t know where to start learning more about them. This is why is so helpful. I love learning from the experts here. @RyBen3

Shamefully no, it’s a combo of not believing in my skill set enough to build them, and my belief that I can work around them with self built strats and rules. @JonKagan

I use to be so afraid of scripts but they have been such a time saver for me! @anna_arrow

I tried getting into scripts but found it a bit intimidating. @bufoting

 

Q2: What is your favorite script and why do you like it? Or, if you don’t have any running yet: what would you loooove to have a script do for you?

 

That’s a hard one for me. I cannot live without my daily Ad Spend Report and Link Checker. Also, my weekly Declining Ad Groups & Account Performance scripts are a lifesaver. @adwordsgirl

The only script I use with any regularity is one that tells me when performance is declining over a 3 week period. Handy. @Mel66

Reporting. I HEART the simplicity of sucking all the data out, shoving it into a sheet and pulling it into Data Studio automatically. It helps me visualize and see trends way easier than manual. Plus, I had some fun with an ad copy script a while back. @JuliaVyse

I’d love a script that alerts me when conversion tracking stops working. This is probably simple but I’ve not bothered to look for it..@Mel66

Not using scripts but I’d love to be able to easily identify individual words or word pairs that are getting volume but not conversions in the search terms report. Have to do that in excel. @CJSlattery

I would love something that helped identify queries that I should take a hard look at for possible inclusion in negative lists. @NeptuneMoon

My all-time favorite is the broken link checker, because it automates a very important task that is simply impossible to do by hand. @ThatSearchGuyNL

Another one i really like is one i created for one of my clients to automatically exclude placements in GDN that have a high probability of sending fraudulent clicks. Because we all know about the quality of these clicks, right? …@ThatSearchGuyNL

Favorite is the out of stock checker. @ktzstyle

I’m not even sure if it’s possible TBH, but I’d love a script/tool that regularly identifies Exact Match KWs that appear on SERPs where the client dominates organic results + no comp in auction insights so we can exclude the Exact Match terms. @PPCKirk

Love N-gram for all our shopping campaigns but even keyword conflict, auction insights and budget overdelivery all help make accounts hum. Wrote about these scripts last year: takesomerisk.com/google-scripts @duanebrown

Also did one post just on N-Gram and how we use it on all our eCommerce clients. N-Gram is the script you didn’t know you needed. @duanebrown

What is an N-Gram you may be asking? Hell I didn’t know what it was 3 years ago. An n-gram is a phrase made of n words: a 1-gram is a single word, a 2-gram is a phrase made of two words…ect. For example, “this four word” has two 2-grams (“this four,” “four word,”)  & one 3-grams (“this four-word”. Script adds up the clicks, impress, cost, converted clicks and conversion value of each query containing the n-grams. Does the black arts to give you a performance report based on n-grams you request. If you tell the script to find @duanebrown

Would love to build a script to automatically filter out ad inappropriate placements on MSAN/YT/GDN. @JonKagan

 

Q3: When thinking about scripts, what benefits are most important to you (please rank with percentages, try to get to 100%)

A> reduce manual labour

B> increase account performance

C> prevent mistakes

D> other, namely …

 

A 50%, B 20%, C 30% @Mel66

My breakdown would be A> reduce manual labour 40% B> increase account performance 30% C> prevent mistakes 30% In other words, all of the above, please! @NeptuneMoon

It’s nearly 100% about reducing manual labour for me. @JuliaVyse

Hard one to rank but this is how I think about it. Scripts help you have an extra hands and eyes in an account. A> reduce manual labour: 30% B> increase account performance: 20% C> prevent mistakes: 40% D> What I can not think of: 10% @duanebrown

For me it’s B (40%), A (40%), C (20%) @ThatSearchGuyNL

A> Reduce Manual Labour: 40% B> Increase Account Performance: 30% C> Prevent Mistakes: 30% @adwordsgirl

Prevent manual labor….@JonKagan

 

Q4: How do you discover new scripts?

 

Following people who specialize in scripts and blog posts. Sometimes it’s just having an issue and looking around for a script that may help. @adwordsgirl

With YouTube becoming a bigger play. Plus what will people think of for Discovery Ads. As automation takes over… more N-Gram scripts will pop up to help us manage all that new found data and find interesting trends. @duanebrown

Attending conference sessions on the topic, following people who are experts in the area, and of course following. @NeptuneMoon

Way back when it was all about freeadwordsscripts.com, now it’s google searches, podcasts, and following people who know their stuff. @JuliaVyse

Even if you can’t attend conferences, the slides are almost always publicly shared and some events offer live feeds so you can “attend” a session from afar! @NeptuneMoon

I scour the PPC blogs, forums and do regular Google searches for new ones. @ThatSearchGuyNL

[SHAMELESS PLUG] This has resulted in a Google Sheet that i think contains the most extensive list of Google Ad Scripts out there, with over 250 free scripts. You can find it here: nilsrooijmans.com/free-google-ad @ThatSearchGuyNL

Us Redditers on r/pcc have a cool list of scripts from around the internet. It could use more love to be maintain but another option: twitter.com/duanebrown/sta @duanebrown

literally learn about them on this thread. @JonKagan

Following industry leaders. Blogs. Conference presentations. Researching for a script to meet a need. @anna_arrow

 

Q5: What has been your biggest WIN using scripts? Or, what are you hoping to get out of it?

 

My biggest wins are reducing a looot of wasted ad spend by using scripts to alert me on things like: low conversion rate search terms/n-grams, sudden drops in ROAS, monitoring Search Partner performance, automatically negating irrelevant close variants. @ThatSearchGuyNL

Rebuilding search campaigns in less time based on tons of shopping data and seeing performance change faster. That is the power of n-gram. I doubled an ad accounts CR inside of 30 days with this script. @duanebrown

In my very limited experience, scripts have alerted me to performance issues in my accounts. @Mel66

1. weather-based bidding. It made a WILD difference for a local plumbing client who suddenly would have to call me to turn off ads when they had too much business. 2. a colleague built an ad copy builder for a car dealership that was bonkers good. @JuliaVyse

I also use scripts to monitor the impact of Google pushing it’s AI upon us. The AI is great, but definitely always improving performance. You can hear me speak about this topic (incl slides) : greatdayevent.com/2019/talks/roo @ThatSearchGuyNL

I really think that’d be finding broken links before clients remember to tell me that they may have changed the LP URL. @adwordsgirl

To get that smug jerk “carl” to shut up because he thinks his scripts help in pace better…you know who you are “carl” @JonKagan

In general, love anything that can auto-flag issues that aren’t brought to light by default. Dead URLs, negative conflicts, etc. Second, getting stricter budget controls. @timothyjjensen

 

Q6: What is your biggest FRUSTRATION with scripts?

 

Love the many free resources I can copy and paste from but would also love to get to the point where I’m knowledgeable enough to write some myself. Barrier is setting aside the time. @timothyjjensen

That I haven’t used them and that I now feel like I am terrible at my job. @CJSlattery

So, sometimes getting a script I thought would be useful but really wasn’t to stop running has been a challenge… @NeptuneMoon

My script frustrations: – Not all operations you can do in the interface are supported by scripts. Ie we had to wait years to get support for price extensions – 30 min execution limit can be a PITA sometimes – No version control in the Google IDE. @ThatSearchGuyNL

Breaking something in my account. Troubleshooting when I don’t understand the script language. Competing scripts cannibalizing each other. @JuliaVyse

Still troubleshooting. If one tiny piece doesn’t work, there’s nothing I can do. That and accidental overspends, but that’s a risk with any tool. @JuliaVyse

They don’t always work if you don’t have data or if you are me,… so jazzed to use it that I don’t slow down and fill out all the required fields. @duanebrown

Hands down, troubleshooting. Sometimes the fixes are simple and sometimes I want to walk into a brick wall. @adwordsgirl

So, sometimes getting a script I thought would be useful but really wasn’t to stop running has been a challenge… @NeptuneMoon

I heard someone say that Facebook will get scripts. That was amazing to hear….don’t know if it’s true of course. @duanebrown

Having to make them. If enough people are making these, then the engines need to make them a real function. @JonKagan

 

Q7: Before you started using scripts, what was the main thing keeping you from it? Or, what is keeping you from using scripts right now?

 

It’s always been a concern that it requires heavy programming knowledge to use. My CS background ended in high school. @CJSlattery

Thought you had to be a coder and that is not the case. Took me 4 tries to get my first script going in 2013 and I never looked back. It was a negative keyword conflict one. Small details matter in making scripts work. @duanebrown

Coding and troubleshooting. I’m just out here on an island all alone, and not all the great folx on #ppcchat are NDA’d to look at my accounts if I need help @JuliaVyse

Main roadblock for me is if I start the process and then it doesn’t work. There are lots of instructions on how to set it up (though they could also be dumbed down…) but not much on what to do if you followed the instructions & it doesn’t work. @NeptuneMoon

Time. I was always busy managing my clients’ accounts. That was until I realized I could actually use scripts to create time to develop more scripts to save more time and increase performance. @ThatSearchGuyNL

Lack of knowledge as mentioned before. Also, we have 3rd party tools that do a lot of the same things that scripts do. And troubleshooting as mentioned before. If it doesn’t work, I’m stuck. @Mel66

At that time, I was still new to everything and didn’t really know the power they had. A developer mentioned it to me and it changed my professional life (maybe my personal life a little haha). @adwordsgirl

The creation part was just to damn intimidating. @JonKagan

 

Q8: If you are already using scripts, what advice would you give others with zero scripting experience to get started?

 

Find a simple script someone else has made, add it to your account, and start playing with it! Best way to learn is by doing. Preview results before running it to make sure it’s working as expected. @timothyjjensen

Don’t be afraid to start experimenting and get a feel for the potentialn of Google Ads Scripts … @ThatSearchGuyNL

Via the Preview option you can run scripts and see what they do without the script changing anything in your account. That way you can be sure the script does no harm and you can start experimenting without any risk. It’s literally as simple as copy-paste. @ThatSearchGuyNL

Also, stick with scripts that send alerts or populate data in spreadsheets vs. actually making changes in the account, to start. That way you have less risk of unanticipated changes in account right off. @timothyjjensen

A service to set up scripts and troubleshoots when the break. Price it for consultants or small agencies. @NeptuneMoon

 

PPCChat Participants:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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